This week I spent mostly at the New England Vegetable and Fruit conference in Manchester. Its always a good couple of days of sessions and farmer-to farmer talks. The conference is held on a bi-annual basis and this is the 4th one i have attended. There was several exciting takeaways for me.
Organic farming is growing. Compared to when i first started, there were twice as many organic sessions this time, as well as the organic sessions being completely full compared to the conventional sessions being sparse. It was really telling in the Strawberry session. For 3/4ths of the session there was barely 50 people in the room during the industry talk of chemicals, fungicides, and matted row systems. At 11:30 when I was scheduled to talk about organic annual bed system the door opened and barely closed for the next 15 minutes as the room filled up with growers interested in a safer, more profitable way of farming.
The Organic movement is maturing. When i first started attending this conference there was very few young people. The next one had a lot more, and the next was flooded with young people. This time there was a new sound in the sessions, babies crying. All of us young, hippy farmers are growing up, getting married and having kids. It was exciting to see friend and newcomers alike with the next generation of farmers in slings and carseats.
It was an honor to be able to present 3 talks and accompanying papers at the conference. I presented on:
And To all of you, a very Merry Christmas to you! We appreciate your support through the year and feel honored to serve you.